Carousel Players is pleased to announce that Lori Moccio, an Arts teacher for Grades 1 to 8 at Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion School in St. Catharines is the 2016 winner of the Norah Morgan Memorial Award.
Established by Carousel Players, the award celebrates the contributions and achievements of elementary school teachers who have made a strong contribution to the arts in Niagara region schools.
On January 12th at the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) Trustees meeting, the Norah Morgan Memorial Award will be presented to Mrs. Moccio by Debra McLauchlan, Chair of the Carousel Players Board of Directors.
One of the benefits of the award is that Mrs. Moccio's school will receive a free performance on April 25, 2016 at 9:15am by Carousel Players of the play Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin. The play by Carousel's Artistic Director Jessica Carmichael is a celebration of music, imagination, multicultural themes, and intergenerational stories.
School principal Candi Sitko who nominated Mrs. Moccio said, "Lori is passionate about teaching through the arts and engaging students in creative, authentic ways and has taught the arts to all elementary grades throughout her career. In addition to her teaching talents, Lori was part of a visionary team for DSBN Arts and the Elementary Arts Council. She is an engaging, knowledgeable and approachable teacher leader who has led DSBN initiatives such as the Niagara Elementary Music Festival, created many after school workshops and served as a great mentor to help DSBN teachers integrate the music curriculum into their classrooms."
"It is an honour to be nominated by my school and to receive this wonderful award from Carousel Players," said Lori Moccio. "From an early age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a music degree and obtaining a teaching degree at Brock, I taught for 4 years in Toronto and then moved back to Niagara where I've enjoyed teaching at 4 different schools: Crowland Central, Richmond Street, Briardale, and
Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion. My great joy is to teach the arts cross-curricularly and to find ways that every child in our school can fully participate in the arts. In Grade 4, for example, we used science vocabulary about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores to create rhythmic patterns. We then layered all the patterns and performed them in many different ways, using our bodies as instruments and eventually creating a whole class dance. In our Grade 2 classes we looked at images of different geographical landmarks in Canada. We made up a movement for each of our images and then danced all of Canada from west to east. We repeated the same lesson and selected and mapped geographic features in Niagara like the Welland Canal, Niagara Falls, the Escarpment, and created dances for each of them. We ended the class by dancing places on our map of Niagara!"
This is the eleventh annual presentation of the award in memory of drama education pioneer Norah Morgan. Previous winners of the award include teachers Marty Umanetz (2015) Sandie Heckel (2014) Paul Lukacs (2013), Nancy Gill (2012), Laurie Crain-Anez (2011), Sharon Hellinga (2010), Anneliese Burke (2009), Jerome Black (2008), Barb Hennessy (2007) and Tim Mallory (2006). The Norah Morgan Memorial Award alternates from year to year between the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board.
Norah Morgan was one of the most influential international ambassadors of drama education for both students and teachers for over fifty years.
In 1972, Norah Morgan worked with Des Davis in developing a vision for Carousel Players that continues to inspire students and teachers locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.
The Norah Morgan Memorial Award honours her leadership and influence in enriching the lives of young people through the arts.
Photo of Norah Morgan with her students
For over 40 years Niagara schools have been partners with Carousel Players to bring engaging and creative plays and workshops to elementary schools.
Throughout their 44 year history, over 2.8 million students, teachers and families have seen their productions.
Carousel's plays that link to school
curriculum help youth to understand, navigate and face real and important issues in everyday life such as mental health, poverty,
bullying, human rights, prejudice and breaking barriers.